Rah rah monkeys.

We had a whack Labor Day weekend — Friday’s and Saturday’s temperatures were in the high 90s, and by Monday, they’d fallen 40 degrees, which sort of ruined my plans to spend summer’s final day at the pool, listening to the traditional last-day DJ set. Oh, well. Kate and I saw “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” on one of the steamy days, because sometimes you just need the extra kick only movie-theater air conditioning can provide.

I was delighted to be delighted by the film, which was great fun and surprisingly moving and aw hell MONKEYS ON THE RAMPAGE OOK OOK OOK. I’m sorry trailers nowadays have to give away the whole damn movie, because it would have been wonderful to have the big battle scene take you by surprise, but no. Everyone who’s even seen a TV ad knows it happens on the Golden Gate Bridge. The CGI effects are wonderful, with some liberties taken. Here’s an actual chimp:

Here’s the digital chimp, Caesar, from the film:

As you can see, the unstable pharmaceutical substance that gives the ape species its super intelligence also gives it standard-issue human eyes. Eyes were the secret of E.T., too, although I hated that movie and would happily have subjected the little extraterrestrial to a full government interrogation. Chimpanzees I can identify with. But it’ll take more than eyes to make me fall.

Anyway, “Rise” needed a subtitle: The radicalization of a young primate, say, or a sexier poster line: Abu Ghraib, with even more hair than Khalid Sheik Muhammed. The apes rise for very good reasons, and the battle on the bridge would be commemorated in heroic sculpture once the new ape society is in place, but we have to leave something for the sequel.

Yesterday was the first day of school around here, and the weather stayed cool, segueing into the sort of overcast and chill rain today that includes everything but the Goodyear blimp flying a banner: IT’S OVER, FOLKS. I’m not entirely devastated by it; there’s always a point at which you’re ready to start wearing long pants again. I did buy a pair of new Teva sandals on late-season clearance, and I love them so it would be nice if I could continue showing my toes for a few more weeks. So let’s jump to the bloggage, showing our toes all the while:

Jim at Sweet Juniper took the kids to Sleeping Bear Dunes this summer, and had trouble making the climb. Fortunately, he gave us an account of the experience. Funny.

Don’t let Joe Nocera’s column about the loss of middle ground in Washington make you think you’ve read it all before. There’s some good detail here:

“This is not a collegial body anymore,” (Rep. Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee) said. “It is more like gang behavior. Members walk into the chamber full of hatred. They believe the worst lies about the other side. Two senators stopped by my office just a few hours ago. Why? They had a plot to nail somebody on the other side. That’s what Congress has come to.”

Alan and I went to Windsor for dinner one night last summer, and it was sorta meh. Windsor used to have a thriving restaurant scene, I’m told, and U.S. visitors came often to its Italian, Chinese and other districts. Now that you need a passport and a tolerance for potential border searches, business has fallen significantly. Yet another 9/11 story, this on the explosion of the border-control industry in our region. It was a good decade to wear a badge, apparently. One day, perhaps we naked apes will rise in revolt.

And with that, I must skedaddle. Holiday weeks mean extra work.

Posted at 8:24 am in Current events, Movies, Same ol' same ol' |

81 responses to “Rah rah monkeys.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 7, 2011 at 9:57 am

    I stood there watching people do the climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes a few weeks ago, and thought “why would people let small children go down there and try to climb back up?” After reading the Sweet Juniper piece, I’m still baffled.

    250 feet of that, and not so steep, going back up Mount Baldhead at Saugatuck, and I was utterly demolished.

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  2. Joe Kobiela said on September 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Towards the end of yesterday’s thread a number of you yet again ripped Bush for not going back to washington rightaway. I know most of you will never change your mind on the man, but that is a cheap shot. If you were the head of security for the Pres and had found out that there were planes hijacked and flown into buildings, including the pentagon in D.C.and did not have a grip on what was going on, why in the HELL would you fly the commander in chief DIRECTLY into harms way??? Remember NO ONE new what the hell was going on. The first priority of the S.S. is to protect the president and this is what they did. Bush wanted to go back to D.C. immediatly and the s.s. said no. This is not coming from a right wing or left wing blog, this is directly from a good friends son who is a member of the secret service, and I believe him!
    Pilot Joe

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  3. coozledad said on September 7, 2011 at 10:27 am


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  4. brian stouder said on September 7, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Joe – agreed.

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  5. LAMary said on September 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for that, Cooz.
    I gifted myself with an IPod Nano on Labor Day, and I’m sitting here at my desk listening to Earth Wind and Fire doing September, chair dancing, and being glad no one else hauls their lazy ass in here before 9:30. Ooooh. Temptations now. Love that shuffle mode.

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  6. Dorothy said on September 7, 2011 at 11:16 am

    We have similar taste in music, Mary. Those two groups are on my Nano as well. Do you have any Al Green on there yet? “Your Heart’s in Good Hands” is a favorite of mine.

    And I don’t often find myself agreeing with Pilot Joe, but I have to admit that it was necessary for GWB to be secluded for a time after the attacks. Who knew what was laying in wait? It’s the Secret Service’s job to protect him and they make the decisions when it comes to that kind of stuff, not the sitting President.

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  7. Jeff Borden said on September 7, 2011 at 11:27 am


    I had nothing but praise for W., who I intensely disliked, in the days after 9/11. I was particularly impressed by his call not to take out the anger, hate, shock, etc. on American Muslims. Unlike many in his party, he was always a lot cooler about being around people of different backgrounds and his outreach to Latinos in Texas always seemed genuine to me.\

    The problem is that he was clearly a weak president –in a different way than Obama– and he ceded far too much of the decision making process to hard-core neocons who had been salivating at the chance to put down a big, big, big footprint in the Middle East. If not for Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the other right-wing loons taking the reins, the post-9/11 story might’ve been quite different. Yeah, I know Bush was itching to invade Iraq too, but I wonder if he would have gone to the great lengths of his underlings in areas like torture, expansion of executive privilege, etc. if not for the goading of those bastards.

    Swear to God, I really wonder how I might view W. if he had chosen someone besides Cheney, who epitomizes everything horrible and awful about those eight years.

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  8. Deborah said on September 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Joe, that may be true about Bush, but you know if the same thing had happened to Obama the right wing would be rip roarin about it. Both sides need to quit looking for every opportunity to chop the other guy, and show some respect.

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  9. coozledad said on September 7, 2011 at 11:32 am

    The secret service wouldn’t let him issue orders to Norad. Or do anything about Katrina, either. Or the mortgage securities crisis. They didn’t tell him Iraq was going to hell. Or that invading Afghanistan had been repeatedly demonstrated to be a fool’s errand. No, they just told him to keep readin’ that goat book, or cut that brush, or hit the links.

    Curiously, this is the braggart who kept grabbing his balls and talking about how he was a “war president”. How we’s gone git that Bin Laden “Dead or alive.”
    Hallmark of a coward. Half aggro, half wilting pussy excuses. Spare me.

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  10. coozledad said on September 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

    A simple study in contrasts. A confederate who served at the siege of Petersburg said he believed it was still possible they might pull the thing off somehow, until he looked out a loophole in the trenches and saw a tall man in a top hat walking around the Union lines and periodically looking straight back at him with a spyglass.
    “We knowed it was over, then.”

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  11. moe99 said on September 7, 2011 at 11:56 am

    You know, maybe if Bush had gotten out front in this, saying that he decided to lay low, or whatever. But it was other folks that were making his decisions for him. That did not feel like he was in charge (h/t Alexander Haig)and he was the President, for gawd’s sake. If his judgment can be overruled, or he can be ordered about, who is at the handles of our national government? Where is accountability?

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  12. Connie said on September 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I read and enjoyed the Sweet Juniper piece about Sleeping Bear. He didn’t just climb the dune climb and run back down, he went past the warning signs and went down the steep back side to the lake. I had to email and tell him the easy way to get out of there is not to climb back up, rather to walk the beach north around the point where the dune has come back to ground level.

    So Sue and Holly, how was your Sleeping Bear week?

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  13. Sue said on September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    For me, too poor to afford this year, even if I could bunk with Holly.
    For Holly, big wedding to plan for (although my niece briefly considered a destination wedding in the area).
    So, no Pure Michigan for us this year.

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  14. moe99 said on September 7, 2011 at 12:18 pm


    The comments are also worth reading. One in particular echoes where I am–Obama seems to be the only one trying to compromise these days. It makes him look lonely out there, and weak. I am livid with some of his decisions (Gitmo, EPA, Bernanke, debt ceiling compromise to start with), but I knew going in that whoever was elected would not be agreeing with me 100%. As far as the Republicans go, I pretty much disagree with them 98% (thanks John Boehner) of the time. We are at the precipice.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on September 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I remember climbing those dunes as a kid and they were not easy even then. But for someone growing up in the landlocked midwest, it was a beautiful, magical place.

    I don’t think Bush had any choice about being kept away from DC. The Secret Service has protocols in place for such situations, since DC is always a target. And wasn’t the plane that crashed in Shanksville heading towards Capitol Hill?

    I also think that Bush naively believed his mideast war would be like Daddy’s–a short and decisive victory. He was totally unprepared for the quagmire that resulted.

    On a happier topic, I made tomato-corn pie yesterday and with garden tomatoes and fresh sweet corn, it was ambrosia. Making pie crust is not my favorite kitchen task so it’s not likely to go into regular rotation. But the flavor was sublime. Thanks to all who posted the idea and recipe.

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  16. Maggie Jochild said on September 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I didn’t resent Dubya hiding. But he could have, from some bunker, taped a message indicating he was doing something besides hiding and given the country a sense of direction. Instead what was happening is that Cheney, et al, were gleefully putting together a plan to extract wealth and power from this tragedy. That is what Dubya’s absence and silence signifies, which some of us suspected at the time and have (against my hopes) been proved right about.

    Dubya froze in terror when that aide whispered in his ear in the classroom. It was his standard expression when asked to actually DO something for which he had not been coached.

    Owning class children raised in a bubble are told over and over the reason why they cannot go out among the “real people” is because all the great unwashed out here “hate you for your advantages”. It was Barbara Bush’s voice we heard when Dubya paraphrased it to “they hate us for our freedoms”. He was not capable of a more intelligent world-view. Of course, alcohol played an ongoing role as well. But America has a tradition of mythologizing ignorant drunken white men.

    Bush said often the best time of his life were the five or so months he got to attend a public grade school in Midland, Texas and play with “regular children”. I went to that same grade school in Midland for a few months as well, only a few years after little George, and the class/race dynamics were utter hell. I was thrilled when we moved from there to Houma, Louisiana. But I believe him when he says it was better than the rest of his childhood.

    I’m just tired of the U.S. Presidency being a place where damaged boys work out their daddy issues.

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  17. beb said on September 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Pilot Joe, Maggie Jochild above pretty much says what I intend to. While the President didn’t need to fly back to DC, which was an active site of attack, he should have made a broadcast to the nation from somewhere, even if it were from inside Air Force One, which I’m sure has the technology to do that, and it seemed unlikely that a broadcast from a moving airplane could have targeted it. His absense for nearly a day was inexcusable.

    Now it is true that Bush frequently walked the tightrope before reality and islamophobia. He never really tried to draw in the people in his own party who wanted to destroy Islam, confusing a religion with al Qida, But as an oil man he had spent too many years sucking up to the Saudis to not offer them cover (and a free pass out of the country).

    The only thing Bush has going for him as an ex-president is that he’s not Dick Cheney and ought to count himself lucky that Cheney never mounted a coup.

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  18. Connie said on September 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    So sorry to hear you didn’t make it to Glen Lake this year, Sue and Holly. I have always thought the beach at Empire City Park would be a great place for a wedding.

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  19. brian stouder said on September 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Maggie – amen!

    (and a cynic might add, “or damaged girls with those same daddy issues”)

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  20. coozledad said on September 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I’m always shocked at how much of the country is still nourishing their Stockholm syndrome for Little Boots. This, more than anything serves to explain the rise of Rick Perry within the Republican party. And when the time comes you can bet David Gergen, Tommy Friedman, Bob Schieffer et al., will start going down on him, raptly. Gergen was particularly obsequious in the days running up to the Iraq debacle. I remember hearing him on NPR discussing the depth of love Americans had for “their president”, and thought “You’ve been talking to Tommy Friedman’s cab driver again, Dave.”
    The question that will plague me until I die is why these smarmy fuckers weren’t hounded out of public life, or jailed. It’s a stark measure of our failure as a society to make the transition to adult modes of thinking.

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  21. moe99 said on September 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Perhaps Joe has the inside word on how it was that the Saudis in Kentucky got to fly out of the country while the rest of the US airspace was shut down.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Cooz, the answer is stunningly simple and depressing. We don’t give a shit. We are increasingly incurious, selfish, spoiled, unwilling to read “hard” articles that might shed light on our problems, unwilling to watch “serious” news programs or documentaries that focus on major problems and issues, unwilling in many cases to even arise from our couch and vote.

    I don’t know who it was who coined the term “amusing ourselves to death,” but it was and remains an apt phrase. Most of our fellow citizens know more about Kim Kardashian’s wedding than any details of health care reform. Whose fault is that?

    Certainly, individuals who choose to insulate themselves from the real world in a cocoon of DVR tapings get the blame, but it’s even deeper than that. I spent most of my adult life in the news business and I tried hard to do a fair-minded, honest job. I aspired at one point to be one of those folks who worked in D.C., covering the levers of power and the people wielding them. Now. . .I wouldn’t be caught dead as part of the Washington press corps. The 24/7 news cycles reward shallowness and hysteria and punish thoughtfulness and perspective. The dustup between Boehner and Obama over which night the president would address Congress is only the latest example of this shit: we have tens of millions out of work and losing hope and our mighty press corps focuses on a largely manufactured controversy that in the long run is less than meaningless.

    And so we have lost our ability to hold people responsible. There are scores of bankers, regulators and politicians who ought to be in jail for what they did to the economy. Instead, our prisons are filled with poor people of color who robbed or stole at the nickel-dime level. Many members of the Bush Administration should be in federal prison for high crimes and, yeah, treason. None are and none ever will be. We never demanded it as a people and Obama didn’t have the stones to do it on his own.

    I read an essay recently that suggested this whole thing can be traced to Gerald Ford pardoning Richard M. Nixon. I’m not sure if I agree, but how might our nation be different if Nixon himself had been held responsible for his actions? Maybe Iran-Contra might not have happened? Or the war in Iraq? Might Saint Ronny and W. have feared prosecution enough not to have traveled down those paths?

    Whatever the case, I don’t see things improving. And God help us as the Koch brothers, the Olins, the Scaifes, the Coors, the DeVos’ start pumping their gazillions into political advertisements thanks to the Roberts court and Citizens Uniuted. The stench of bullshit will rise to the heavens.

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  23. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Charles Koch, of the infamous Koch Head Brothers, told the Big GOPer spenders that the 2012 Presidential election is the Mother of all wars. By which he means Sherrif Bart is a ni, a ni, what Gabby Johnson said. He read a book by Saul Alinsky. Quelle horeurs. He read a book. Quelle more horeurs.

    Jeez, Iraq. Cooz, the stupid bastards tried to talk Clinton into that briar patch, and when he wasn’t that fucking stupid, the PNAC got it’s own moron appointed in 2000. Those aholes didn’t even ask W to sign on in the first place. Jeb, Yeah, the pitiful all hat no cattle murdererer, lightweight. Please, would somebody aske the two corn-dog woofers to define Socialism the next time either on of them says it. It will come out sounding like WWJD. Morons, render unto Caesar, you greedy and unChristian motherfuckers. What Jesus actually intended, and He didn’t intend anything along the lines of Pray the Gay Away, you freaking idiots.

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  24. brian stouder said on September 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    We don’t give a shit. We are increasingly incurious, selfish, spoiled, unwilling to read “hard” articles that might shed light on our problems, unwilling to watch “serious” news programs or documentaries that focus on major problems and issues, unwilling in many cases to even arise from our couch and vote.

    OK, close your books and grab your pencils; it’s time for a pop quizz.

    11 questions, multiple guess, (a, b, c, or d) –

    I scored a 10 (missed the one about obesity)


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  25. Connie said on September 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    That was fun. I also got 10, missed the one about federal budget.

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  26. brian stouder said on September 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I guessed correctly on the budget one; but I was thinking that the Khadafy one was a trick question, since (if we can believe today’s news) his head is soon to be on the end of a pike, in southern Libya…

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  27. Maggie Jochild said on September 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I also missed one. Apparently got my gender wrong.

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  28. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    And Gerry Ford pardoned Nixon so he could be President. Only way his moron ass was ever getting there. And W served but Kerry didn’t. And people actually injured in Viet Nam bought this horseshit? These people are the dregs. They go back to Lee Atwater. GOP has mastered the most astounding dissolution with reality in the history of mankind. These assholees think the trickle down isn’t piss raining on them. And that somehow, they are not voting against their own interests. Dumbest fucks in political history. Total delusion. Total disconnect from reality. Loony tune whackjobs.

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  29. Sue said on September 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Scored 10.
    Needless to say, I scored through the roof on the lefty scale on this one:

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  30. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Sewift Boaaters? W served and Kerry didn’t? Who bought that horse shit? Seriously, Some Nixon shit heel or the guys’ crewmates? Fuck you, you chickenhawk assholes. Let’s hear from Cheney. The Swiftboat crap. Please. Is there nothing to which GOPERs wont stoop. How did anyybody buy that bullshit? Kerry cammanded a Riverine boat in both Vietnam and Laos. W flew sorties around the O Club in Tejas. Somebody get this wrong? Kerry served, W japped. If somebody is too stupid to get theis and to understand the slander, why should that idiot be allowed to vote? Seriously, that is mortal stupidity.

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  31. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Not obese. Quite trim accurately. Who made scads of cash from the Iraq invasion. That would be HalliburtonThey mostly just stole it off of palleets. Cheney major stockholder. Chickenhawk crook, no matter how you lookk at it. Seriouslly, crooked shitheels for sure.

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  32. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Major league crooks.

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  33. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Seriously. Halliburton and Blackwater and Raytheon didn’t steel that cash? You are an idiot.

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  34. april glaspie said on September 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    They stole that money like it was Ken Blackwell, and we know for a fact that black asshole stole the cash.

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  35. Deborah said on September 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I’m patting myself on the back I got 11 out of 11 right. I guessed on the one about obesity, but I guessed right.

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  36. Jolene said on September 7, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I got all 11. Yea me.

    Anyway . . . While the President didn’t need to fly back to DC, which was an active site of attack, he should have made a broadcast to the nation from somewhere . . .

    In fact, he did this. He spoke for a couple of minutes before leaving Florida. From Florida, they flew first to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. While there, he taped a brief statement, which was played after he took off. They then flew to Offutt AFB in Nebraska, where he met via videoconference w/ Cheney, Tenet, and others in DC. He spoke again from the White House at the end of the day after returning to DC.

    I didn’t remember these events, but have been watching some of the retrospectives. These appearances were mentioned in both the National Geographic channel’s show, which wrapped a tick-tock around an interview w/ GWB, and the Smithsonian channel’s show, which was an overview of all the main events of the day. Both presentations indicate that Bush was itching to get back to DC and, eventually, overruled the Secret Service, Cheney, and others who wanted to keep him out of DC. The Smithsonian program, especially, was very well done. Has been broadcast (obviously), but is worth looking for through OnDemand or online. Haven’t checked to see whether it’s being shown again this week, but it may be.

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  37. MarkH said on September 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    10 of 11. Was sure we we spent more on debt interest than anything else.

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  38. MichaelG said on September 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I disagree with most folks. I still think that the place for a leader is out front, not cowering 2000 miles from the front lines. The President of the United States needs to stand up and be seen and to provide inspiration and leadership. Something sadly lacking for lo, these many years.

    I missed one, the obesity question.

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  39. Brandon said on September 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm


    Ten out of eleven. The obesity question is tricky.

    “Amusing ourselves to death” was the title of Neil Postman’s 1985 book on television.

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  40. nancy said on September 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Perfect score. Because I always turn it up to 11. You’ll never get an obesity question past someone who reads health-care news for a living.

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  41. brian stouder said on September 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Sue – I got 310 of 400 on your Progressive test.

    You got me chuckling when you said

    I scored through the roof on the lefty scale

    Your house must be listing heavily to port!

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  42. Joe Kobiela said on September 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Michael G,
    I believe the man flew into Bagdad on Thanksgiving, if thats not out front I don’t know what is. Should he be manning a cal.50? and Im sorry but Glaspie, your head is stuck so far up your own ass I am surprised you don’t breath out your bellybutton.
    Pilot Joe

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  43. LAMary said on September 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t really care where Bush went when the towers were hit. He was such an ineffectual turd I wouldn’t count on him to do much that was helpful. Seriously, what was he going to do? Say “bring it on?” or utter some strangled prose? I’m glad he didn’t immediately make things worse. That’s about the best we could have hoped for.

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    10 of 11; MarkH and I made the same mistake.

    But the brutal part was that this was the first online occasion where I’d had to click [gulp] the “50-64” button. Ack.

    If someone developed an April/Prospero app that could allow me to block his comments after the third gin and tonic (his, not mine), I’d put my .99 of iTunes money into buying that. Joe, it’s just not worth it, and you can’t do an intervention online.

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  45. Hexdecimal said on September 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Joe @ 2 – if you don’t want to believe former President Bush is/was a coward that day is your right but I believe your wrong. Both the President and the VP hid like little girls when they should have been out front leading the charge. If it was up to me, both of them, plus a good number of the Senate & Congress, both Republican & Democrate, would all have been hung from the lamp posts lining Pennsylvania Avenue for their disgrace. But that’s just me, a liberal democrat.

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  46. Sue said on September 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    With all the discussion and disagreement today regarding presidential behavior, I would be interested to hear opinions on the rumors of Republican boycotts of the President’s speech.
    Even if you think the President tried to pull a fast one, it seems pretty disrespectful to the office, much less the man.

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  47. Jeff Borden said on September 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I think very little of Rudolph Giuliani. Very, very little. But I give him credit for taking to the streets quickly and assuring New Yorkers that everything was going to be all right. He has shamelessly cashed in on his response ever since –Joe Biden was absolutely correct to describe him as noun, verb, 9/11– but he did plunge into the maelstrom in those critical early hours and was more of a visible leader than anyone in the administration.

    It’s clear no one is ever going to know the truth about what Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc. did that day. Cheney’s new book contradicts Bush’s book and vice versa regarding what was said and done in the immediate aftermath. They’ll have to live with their own consciences, I guess, except for Cheney, who does not have one.

    I will say this: If keeping Dick Cheney out of the Oval Office meant W. had to go into hiding, I applaud him. Our world would be immeasurably worse –if it wasn’t already a smoking cinder– if that heartless shitwad Cheney had ever had total control. He is quite possibly the most repulsive figure to emerge from American politics in my 60 years. The fact he walks free. . .and is admired by a certain number of sadists and torture porn freaks. . .is abhorrent to me.

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  48. LAMary said on September 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Jeff, I completely agree about Giuliani. As and ex-New Yorker I have and had no use for him, but he rose to the occasion on 9/11 and was remarkable. After that, not so much, but when it was needed he was great.
    And yes, I guess Bush’s greatest accomplishment is keeping Cheney out of the White House. Of course Cheney is one of the undead, you know. He has no pulse.

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  49. Deborah said on September 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Sue, the Republicans in both houses never cease to amaze me in the way they behave when it comes to this president. Shouting “You lie”, the constant saying no to everything, the refusal to compromise and on and on, it’s all so unprofessional and disrespectful. I can’t remember it ever being like this before. If they boycott the speech, that wouldn’t surprise me, but it will be a sad day. I think the same thing that’s happening in politics happened in sports in this country. Pouting, screaming, poor sportsmanship all around. Devolution.

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  50. LAMary said on September 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    The lack of respect for the President has been from day one of his presidency. He’s black. There are people feel it’s ok to treat black people this way. Some them have been hiding that belief for years but it’s still there.

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  51. MarkH said on September 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    To be fair, Deborah, I think what is supposed to happen is the the republicans will not offer any televised rebuttal to the president’s speech, not an out-and-out attendance boycott. But I’m sure some will anyway.

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  52. Dave said on September 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I got 11 of 11 and I also guessed on the obesity question. Jeff (TMMO), I’ve been clicking that button for a long time now and it won’t be too many years until I have to click the next one. It’s a sign of maturity, that’s all.

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  53. MichaelG said on September 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Point taken Jeff B and Mary.

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  54. moe99 said on September 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Joe, you still haven’t answered my question.

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  55. coozledad said on September 7, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Hey, when your party’s just a bunch of hoppers and whoresons, what are you going to do? Obama can’t really offer them a VIP lounge with two grand a night chest shitters, or find McConnell a couple methheads who’d be willing to rim him for a dime bag of brown on such short notice.
    Appearing on Power Play Live with Chris Stirewalt, Vitter called the President’s address “more political speech that substantive” and said, “I have a Saints party…and I am absolutely going to be there for the big game, kick-off of the Saints and the whole NFL.”

    The Louisiana lawmaker acknowledged he would keep an eye on the President from his home, but added, “As a fanatic, I have my priorities.”
    Right, Dave. Put the diaper on and let her fly, boy. Mama will always clean up the mess.

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  56. Sue said on September 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Mark H, Jim DeMint and Joe Walsh are two boycotting, from what I’ve heard.

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  57. coozledad said on September 7, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    If Jim Demint’s boycotting, that’s the racist seal of approval. Scumbags.

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  58. Jolene said on September 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    The Nocera column that Nancy cited fits into a discussion of governance that’s been hopping around the tubes for the past week or so that began w/ the publication of a longish piece by Michael Lofgren, who, for 28 years, was a Republican staffer on both House and Senate Budget Committees. Lofgren quit in disgust, and his column is an insider’s view of the lunacy of the present Republican Congress.

    A lot of people have been commenting on his piece. James Fallows has been following this up w/ his own comments and contributions from others, including other Congressional staffers. The piece at the top of his blog takes up the issue and cites earlier pieces. Worth a look. I wish these people were getting interviewed on national TV.

    Anybody watching the GOP debate?

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  59. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Ron Paul is oddly admirable only because his ideological consistency is transparent and unaffected. He’s not afraid to agree with an extension of his arguments that is not in his electoral interests, and I like that. Couldn’t vote for him, but I find him appealling.

    Huntsman continues to reach out to the thoughtful, reflective, problem-solving wing of the Republican Party, just as his spiritual predecessor Dick Lugar did running for President. And we know how that turned out; not sure what Huntsman’s strategy is in that light, but I’m glad he’s out there. Bachmann continues to retreat into her hairdo, and Cain is glancing about as if he suspects people are ignoring him behind his back; Gingrich is just glowering, which is one human expression he does well. Romney is sticking with his impression of the now retired Burger King mascot.

    I just can’t look at Perry, and you can’t make me. His voice is a hyper-irritating version of the Charlie Brown teacher voice.

    Yeah, I’m watching the GOP debate.

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  60. Jolene said on September 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Yeah, I’m watching the GOP debate.

    A good summary! Love the “retreat into her hairdo” line. It’s exactly right. Also, the hairdo is off tonight. She is not looking her best.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Ha – no one caught that I didn’t mention . . . yeah, what’s his name? Him. He’s there, too.

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  62. basset said on September 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Only 277 for me on the progressivity test. I hang my head and fade into a corner.

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  63. Deborah said on September 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Jolene, that Lofgren link was fantastic. It had me hanging on every word. So true.

    Edit: I just read the Fallows one too, good stuff. We need more of this kind of thinking and writing.

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  64. alex said on September 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I got the obesity question but got 10 of 11 because I was wrong about Medicare costing the most. Got 318 on the progressive test (because I was willing to concede a smidgen of truth to some of the right-wing canards, but felt some major stipulations would be necessary in order to agree any more). Was amazed that the majority of people who elected Obama were only in the 200s.

    Didn’t watch the GOP debates. I don’t care what any of those sick fucks has to say because they’re not interested in my vote anyway and the end of summer is a downer enough without having to contemplate the nightmare of any of them being nominated, or worse, elected.

    On Edit: Eeewww, Jeff (ttmo), you’re not referring to Mr. Booty-Spooge, are you?

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  65. MarkH said on September 7, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Like I said, Sue….

    There will be more who can’t resist, the usual suspects.

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  66. joe kobiela said on September 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Sorry I couldn’t get back to you but I had to take 2 mechanics to Montgomery Ala to fix a jet.The short answer I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I’ll try and find out. But thats the first I heard it.
    Pilot Joe

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  67. Jolene said on September 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    There’s a group advertising on the GOP debate against legal immigration in California. Sheesh.

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  68. Jolene said on September 7, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    There’s a group advertising on the GOP debate against legal immigration in California. Sheesh. Apparently, there’s no level of nativism that’s considered a bridge too far.

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  69. Jolene said on September 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Well, that didn’t quite work the way I thought it was going to, but what the heck.

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  70. MarkH said on September 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Joe, it happened, and I’m surprised you weren’t aware of it. Don’t bother to try to find an answer, as moe’s query was more rhetorical than anything else. People have been trying to find out the how and why of the government sponsored Saudi exodus for ten years. And it wasn’t just Kentucky; they were flown out of Virginia and Forida as well. I have always assumed it was for their own protection, given the circumstances.

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Alex, I had to toss you that quiz question for the easy easy two points.

    My biggest point of future-related queasiness, aside from a family history of colon cancer, is the House of Saud, and global economy’s dependence on products managed by a bizarre extended family of recently former caravan raiders. We in the US may be able to live with a sudden disappearance of Arabian peninsula oil in a direct sense, but the sudden jolt to the international china cupboard would start a domino-like fall of fragile stemware.

    Even on their most clueless (Dem or Rep) day, there’s a large roomful of people in the DC area who have a semi-clear view of what’s actually going on in Saudi Arabia, and it’s got to be the source of most of the memos and sitreps and projections that grey POTUS’ hair, Bush, Obama, or whomever. I see the sudden “evacuation” of shirttail cousins dangling from the House of Saud in that light . . . not as a conspiracy-source for 9-11 per se, but as the tip of an iceberg we still don’t want to examine from beneath, even if we could get a camera down in the depths to outline it.

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  72. brian stouder said on September 8, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I watched the debate, beginning at Red Cross (it was platelet night) and ending in my easy chair.

    Possibly it was a side-effect of my (literal) blood-letting, but I was taken aback by the ‘visuals’ from that RWR venue. Yes, we’ve seen it before – but I tell you honestly – looking at that collection of semi-craven candidates standing on a stage, with a gleaming 4-engined Boeing 707 jumbo jet seemingly barreling right over their heads and toward us (the viewers), on the cusp of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks; attacks which flattened skyscrapers and which radically changed the trajectory of the United States from that point forward….bothered me.

    Pam said “go to bed”, and I think she was right.

    PS – Basset, I think that was a pretty good score!

    PPS – Jeff tmmo, checking that 50+ box WAS disconcerting, now that you mention it!

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  73. april glaspie said on September 8, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Joe, Bush had been warned in a Presidential Daily Brief that terriss were going to fly planes into buildings. You are correct that W’s life was crucial and hiding him was important, but that was mainly important because if anything happened to him, the vampire Chaeney would have been President.

    And Rudy G.? Please. He’s a mob crook. And His connection with the former police chief makes him indictable.

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  74. moe99 said on September 8, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Mark H. those wealthy Saudis were probably less at risk than the guys who drove taxis in NYC.

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  75. april glaspie said on September 8, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Joe, why I despise W? The scumbag knew for a fact he japped on the National Guard, which is one thing. But then he signed off on the Swift Boat bullshit, What sort of turd does he have to be? He knew he got a free boat, then he slandered somebody that actually risked his life and served. Is that difficult to understand that I think he’s less than scum? He got two terms without ever being elected. And he acted like it was owed him. Florida and Ohio were stolen by their Republican Secretary’s of State. Fact Jack. Blackwell and his Diebold CEO buddy said they would do it and they did. All to pad Cheney’s retirement. That’s where all that cash disappeared to in Iraq. These people were crooks and did not give a shit about the USA.

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  76. april glaspie said on September 8, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Say anything, no matter how loony it is:


    But it will be in your email tomorrow, like it’s a fact. What is wrong with assholes like this?

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  77. Dexter said on September 8, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Not apparently, but maybe, many First-Responders, mostly cops and the NYFD , could have been spared these horrible diseases if they had had respirators instead of bandannas and drugstore filter-masks. Last night’s CNN report by Dr. Gupta was sad and stunning.

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  78. Joe Kobiela said on September 8, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Go to snopes.com click on 9-11 link and scroll about half way down, click on the link and read it and weep, another theory busted.
    The Ohio and Florida elections were not stolen, it has been proven over and over again, get over it.
    Back safe and sound in Indiana
    Pilot Joe

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  79. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I am informed by an OSU public health prof (with no direct involvement or political bias that I can discern) that the only reason there hasn’t been a total Ground Zero “first responder” acceptance of liability for any and all breathing & blood cancers is that there’s no legal way to do so without ending up having to do the same for every person in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and most of northern New Jersey who comes down with a respiratory or systemic cancer for the next twenty years. Obviously, some might argue “so?” — but even before the recent discussions about what a sustainable debt limit is, there was a calculation that this was a cost that could not be borne.

    Or so I’ve been told.

    The fire crews from around me who went there are variously aggrieved and philosophical at the same time; they said there’s simply no way to have adequately supported full respirator supplies for all the guys who were on the pile those first three weeks, and they wanted to be up there regardless of risk, because that’s what they do. The flip side is that, sure, I got something in my lungs, but you guys in the desks back at HQ figure out how to take care of me. There’s as many stories of guys who got told *not* to go in without gear, who did, as there are guys who didn’t want to go unless they had rebreathers, probably more, but firefighters don’t really care so much about that as they do about doing right by those who have been affected.

    (I’m only a chaplain and have worn full turnout gear but twice; you only have to do it once to see why so many were wiling to work on the pile without it. On a fire, crew chiefs spend much of their time getting guys to put gear parts back on. It’s like being the little guy at the bottom of your fish tank in an oldtime diver’s suit, and the same visibility around you or at your feet.)

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  80. ROGirl said on September 8, 2011 at 8:14 am

    Research showing that facts are often trumped by beliefs:


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  81. JayZ(the original) said on September 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

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